The Ohio House of Representatives yesterday passed House Bill 49, the state operating budget. The bill, which appropriates more than $122 billion dollars for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, passed 58 to 37.
Representative Craig S. Riedel (R-Defiance) was among 12 conservatives who voted no on the budget, citing a need for more restraint in spending. Representative Riedel issued the following statement on the House budget:
“There are many positive aspects to House Bill 49 that I support, such as the changes to the Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) formula that will be phased in over the next 6 years. This will ease some tax burden for our farming community. This budget also includes $170 million dollars in new money to help fight the battle we are facing against the opioid crises. I also support the elimination of the Governor’s proposed tax increases and tax shifting. Overall, the House has done a reasonably good job of restraining spending in the Governor’s proposed budget.
“Unfortunately, the budget does not go far enough in reducing overall spending, particularly with Ohio’s Obamacare Medicaid expansion. My fear and concern is that this expansion, without additional constraint, is liable to bankrupt our state. I don’t believe that this budget addresses this potential catastrophe as it ought to. We are just ‘kicking the can down the road.’ For this reason, I am unable to support this budget.
“As the budget process continues, I will continue to do my best to see that our taxpayers’ money is used in a fiscally sound manner. My hope is that there are additional changes and restraints placed on the Medicaid expansion program so that I may eventually support this budget. Time will tell.”
The House’s budget bill will now go to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.